Cameo – Black (10 editions)
Mana Wahine Series: Certificate No: 300-289-123
framed – digital print, using pigmented ink on archival paper (308gsm Hahnemuhle)
670 x 670 x 35 mm
Feathers were highly valued by Maori women as a symbol of status and beauty. In contrast, European women valued the cameo because of its connection to Kings and Queens. Two taonga (treasures), different cultures, same meaning.
Many manu (birds) were regarded as kaitiaki (guardians) and were entwined with everyday Maori life. Some were considered sacred such as the Komiromiro (Tomtit) which represented life and light. To me, manu hold a feminine and angelic quality, however, the presence of the Hokioi (Haast’s Eagle) is a symbolic reminder of the strength, endurance and spiritual power that all females, young and old, posses.
Additional info Cameo – Black:
Tui & Blackbird combined – The Blackbird was introduced to New Zealand by European settlers because their song reminded them of their homeland. Not only are Tui and the Blackbird similar in appearance, but they both have melodic voices which greet the coming day.
Their presence represents the future and new opportunities.
Piwakawaka comes from the story of Maui and his attempt to obtain everlasting life from Hine-Nui-Te-Po (the Goddess of night and death), therefore, are associated with both life and death.
Her presence represents a spiritual messenger.
Komiromiro (Tomtit) was a bearer of good news and sometimes used as a love charm for estranged husbands and wives. She also represents life and light.
Her presence symbolises aroha (love) and the continuance of life.
Kiwi is the hidden bird of Tane (Te-Manu-Huna-a-Tane), who was granted special protection. Once prized for her feathers in the making of Kahu-Kiwi (Kiwi cloak), she has become the most well-known and recognisable national symbol of New Zealand.
Her presence symbolises pride, status and dignity.
Kereru (Wood Pigeon) were considered taonga (treasures) by many iwi (tribes) not only for her iridescent plumage but also as a valuable food source. In Maori legend, Maui adorned himself with a cloak of Kereru feathers when he changed himself into a bird as he descended into the underworld.
Her presence represents feminine beauty.
Sacred Kingfisher (Kotare) were regarded as special kaitiaki (guardians) and creatures of respect. Their plumage was not used by Maori and their meat seldom eaten due to their association with Lizards and Gecko.
Her presence emphasises female sacredness.
Gecko were widely known by many iwi (tribes) as a sacred kaitiaki (guardian) and were used to protect and watch over mauri stones (sacred ‘life force’ stones).
Its presence also emphasises female sacredness.
Hokioi (Haast’s Eagle) was a very large and very powerful bird. In Maori legend, its rival, the hawk, said it could reach the heavens; the hokioi said it could also reach the heavens; there was contention between them. The hokioi said to the hawk, â€œWhat shall be your sign?â€ The hawk replied, â€œkeiâ€ (the peculiar cry of the hawk). Then the hawk asked, â€œwhat is to be your sign?â€ The hokioi replied, â€œhokioi-hokioi-hu-u.â€ They flew and approached the heavens. The winds and the clouds came. The hawk called out â€œkeiâ€ and descended, it could go no further, but the hokioi disappeared into the heavensâ€¦
Her presence represents strength, power and spiritual connections.
Kakahu (Butterfly) and the three stages of its life cycle are similar to that of a child – birth, growth, maturity. Maori also believed that butterflies were the souls of whanau (family) members or ancestors who have come to visit them from the afterlife.
Their presence symbolise transformation and Whakapapa (genealogy).
Silver Fern (Ponga) is an ancient plant of New Zealand having survived millions of years. It is a national treasure.
Its presence symbolises unity, tolerance and stability.